X-ray scatter correction for multi-source interior computed tomography:

Hao Gong, Hao Yan, Xun Jia, Bin Li, Ge Wang, Guohua Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The schemes of multi-source interior computed tomography (CT) have shown promise for ultra-fast, organ-oriented, and low-dose dynamic imaging. Besides forward scattering, x-ray cross scattering from multiple x-ray sources activated simultaneously can further degrade image quality. Here, we investigate the overall x-ray scattering artifact in a recently proposed multi-source interior CT architecture, and present two methods for scatter correction. Methods: Compared to single-source global CT, scattering in multi-source interior CT architecture is affected by two new factors: cross scattering from simultaneously activated multiple x-ray sources and region-of-interest (ROI) oriented interior CT mode. The scatter artifact in the multi-source interior CT architecture was evaluated through both numerical simulation and physical experimentation, and compared to that from conventional single-source global CT. Monte Carlo simulation was conducted with a modified numerical CATphan® 600 phantom. Physical experiments were performed in an in-house developed CT imaging platform with a custom-built phantom. The simulation and experiments were carried out on the single-source CT architecture and the multi-source CT architecture, respectively in the global CT mode and the interior CT mode for comparison. To correct the scattering artifact, two new methods were presented. The first is a beam-stopper-array (BSA)-based method, which enables an online correction of forward scattering and cross scattering simultaneously. The second is a source-trigger-sequence (STS)-based method dedicated to cross-scatter correction. It enables on-the-fly measurements of the cross scattering signals at a few pre-selected views. The CT image quality was quantitatively evaluated in terms of contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and CT number deviation before and after the scatter correction. Results: X-ray cross scattering degraded image quality in both the simulation and experiments. Before the scatter correction, the multi-source interior CT mode yielded a reduction of CNR at the ROIs by up to 68.5% and 50.7% in the simulation and experiments, respectively. The stationary BSA-based method significantly improved CNR and CT number accuracy in the images from multi-source interior CT mode, by reducing the negative effects from both forward scattering and cross scattering. The STS-based method enabled multi-source interior CT mode to provide comparable image quality to that with the single-source interior CT mode, by correcting the artifact from cross scattering. The remaining forward scattering artifact can be corrected with the fast adaptive scatter kernel superposition (FASKS) technique. With the proposed scatter correction methods, the CT number error at the ROIs was reduced to less than 37 HU in both simulation and experiments, respectively. Conclusions: Cross scattering, in addition to forward scattering, can cause significant image quality degradation in the multi-source interior CT architecture. However, image quality can be significantly improved with the proposed scatter correction methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017


  • cross scattering
  • forward scattering
  • interior tomography
  • multi-source
  • scatter correction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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